First lab meeting after the long summer break, so we went for a brief catch up of what everyone has been doing. These are from some rather scribbled notes, but hopefully aren’t totally inaccurate!

  • Ellie – mostly stayed in the lab writing code, with a brief trip to Fun and Games which we’ve already heard about.
  • Judith – working on her home/life balance and keeping everything ticking over! Has come back with some new clarity about her research direction, which sounds very exciting.
  • Lesley – writing up the PREP project into a series of papers and an extremely large report!
  • Liz – nominally intermitting, which actually translated rather well into time to reflect on the research she’s done and do some reading that she felt she should have done earlier. She also attended the Social Policy Association conference (all rumours that she went for a spa in York were apparently completely unfounded).
  • Pejman has had his “busiest summer ever”. He’s run his final study for his PhD, analysed a lot of the data from it, written and submitted a CHI paper for 2013, attended CHI 2012 with a work in progress, and generally been working his socks off.
  • Jim – totally changed his research direction over the summer, from reflection to autism. He’s just come back from an event in Edinburgh that Judith was speaking at.
  • Gareth has been writing up and will be continuing with that. He and Pejman need the hand-me-down todo list next.
  • Eric – looking at older people and design, and as a result has been attending a lot of classes aimed at helping elderly people with technology. He recently attended the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design show at the RCA, and had brought back some great literature for us all to read.
  • Ben went to the ITS conference on Crete, which he said was great. We think he meant the conference as well as the location, although he did say he tacked a holiday on the end (who wouldn’t?). He’s been working on a grant application, which he’ll hopefully share with us at a later meeting.
  • Alison is apparently (the information was passed on by Ben, as Alison couldn’t be at the meeting) implementing her system in preparation for running studies later this year.
  • Edgar went to Mexico to run a study at his other university. He described it as “the complete Mexican experience”… He’s also looking to hit the gym, as six weeks with Mexican cuisine has apparently had a detrimental effect on his physique.
  • Katy has had an extremely eventful summer! She submitted her thesis (yay!), went on holiday (yay!), didn’t get a lecturer position (booooo), has been working with a couple of other departments in Sussex (yay!), got a 1 year lecturing position (yay!), and had her viva postponed at the eleventh hour due to a mix up with paperwork (booooooooo). I think she’s glad term has started, teaching will be a relief after all that!

In other news, it was decided that Friday lab meetings are not working for everyone, so we agreed to shift them to Tuesdays 11-12 instead. It will take a while for that to sink in, so email reminders will be going out regularly!

The reading group was discussed, and it was agreed that we needed to widen participation to other groups. Two suggested topics or foci were suggested: physicality in design, and what makes a good paper. Ben has kindly agreed to take on the task of broaching it with other groups, to see if anyone would be interested in joining us.

We started a list of things for upcoming lab meetings, which looks good so far.

Finally, Pejman and Ellie demonstrated to the rest of the lab to see if they could persuade us all to use it. It’s a project management tool, that would allow us to share the group tasks more centrally and keep track of our process. People made encouraging noises, but we shall (as ever) have to see how it works for the group as a whole moving forward.

Trello screenshot

So all in all a successful meeting. No meeting next Tuesday, so the next one will be on October 9th, 11-12, same place as always.